Students sit in their classroom at the San Biagio primary school in Codogno, Italy. (Photo: AP)
CODOGNO: The morning bell Monday marked the first entrance to the classroom for the children of Codogno since February 21, when panicked parents were sent to pick up their children after the northern Italian town gained notoriety as the first in the West to record local transmission of the coronavirus.
While all of Italy’s 8 million school students endured Italy’s strict 2 -month lockdown, few suffered the trauma of the children of Codogno, whose days were punctuated by the sirens of passing ambulances.
Many lost grandparents, said Cecilia Cugini, the principal of Codogno’s nursery, elementary and middle schools.
So while the reopening of Italian schools marks an important step in a return to pre-lockdown routine, the step bears more symbolic weight in the 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto that were the first to be sealed off as coronavirus red zones.
Codogno Mayor Francesco Passerini said the town of 17,000 has had virtually no new cases for months now, but authorities are not being complacent.
He said they have spared no effort in working with school administrators to provide maximum protection to the city’s 3,500 students.
We hope it goes well, so that all we lived can be relegated to memory, Passerini said. (AP/RSS)